Monday, April 13, 2015

The SS Badger...Dry docked, day 2 CAL

Wow....the massiveness of this Great Lake Michigan monster is overwhelming, from this it not?! Looking at this black and white, dry docked picture captured in all its glory...holds an unsustainable thought process for me...."Have I bitten off more than I can crochet?!" 

Well....when you break it all down, into a daily job...I suppose even the most timid of crafters could handle 100 or so stitches at a's more about consistency here, than anything else.  So, I absolutely believe this sizable project is worth seeing through to the end...even when you have to take a break and move onto other projects that might need your attention today. 
I imagine that's a normal shipbuilders process...somethings have to be built first, while other objects are made to finally bring it altogether at the end of how ever long it takes to put the ship into the water. And so it sits.....dry docked, until its completion.

The SS Badger didn't start out being a began with an idea, a plan, and a drawing that went through many rough drafts, I'm sure! Just like every crochet have to begin with all these thought processes...before you ever get to your hook and yarn. Now, of course...if you're anything like me, you might have ripped your first few rounds out...once or twice by! Perfection is the key to a great masterpiece when it's all said and done...but, truely...nothing is ever perfect. Some designs have to go back to the drawing board many times, before they even begin to be built. As we progress with our oversized amigurumi today...just remember, you are never alone. You're building right along side of me and many others, who are taking on this large undertaking as well. 

Maybe some actual numbers will help you to realize how very large this ship really is....
It's body is: 410' 6" long, 59' 6" wide, 106' 9" high...which is a staggering 7 stories! It weighs 6,650 tons displaced....Displacement measures weight of a volume of water displaced, not the vessel's absolute weight in pounds put on a scale. 
I am always amazed at myself...that I never stop learning something new everyday....and YOU?!
It holds 600 passengers, 180 cars/vans/trucks, tour buses, RVs, motorcycles, and Semi-trucks. I don't know about all of you, but that is just INCREDIBLE to me! NOW, I know you're asking much yarn is this going to take me...well, I'm not that scientific...but we're working a much smaller scale here, but I'd still love to wager...ALOT! 
I think it's safe to say however, we'll use one skein at a! I'm good with that sort of thing...doesn't sound as scarey to me either...or as expensive!
From what I have learned, it cost an astounding $5 million to create the SS Badger, back in 1952! WOWZA!....Can you imagine the amount of yarn it would cost to YARN BOMB that baby?! 
Now, that's something to think about...for yet, another day!
Well, last week...we started with a partial ball of Heartland Black Canyon, from Lion Brand https// ...and today, Since I ran out of yarn in the middle of our next row, I am attaching the next full skein of  Black keep working out and up!
 To start off with...this is just an example...not the actual join of the current piece I'm working on...this is just to show you how you make it all come together in a 'color join', so you can see it better!

From these pics, you can see that starting off from the middle of a row isn't that just have to hold your work together tightly, and pull your new strand through your last two loops of your current unfinished sc, then position your hook into the next sc st, while crocheting over a portion of the new tail, as well as, the old tail from the last skein you're just finishing up with. 
As you can see here, from my beloved H's one of my most used hooks! You might have one of these too...if not now, you will by the time we take a tour through this!

At Rnd 4, we finished up with 244 sts, (before our stitch marker from the previous round 3)...and now, since our join...we're ready to move ahead!

We're NOW progressing to Rnd 5:
Start off, with a sc in the next 4 sts, then 2sc, 1sc, 1sc, 2sc, 1sc, 1sc, 2sc, 1 sc, 1sc, 2sc, then sc in the next 110 sts, bringing you back to the other side...then, repeating the last pattern in reverse (2sc, 1sc, 1sc, 2sc, 1sc, 1sc, 2sc, 1sc, 1sc, 2sc) then sc 110 sts back...leaving you with 252 sts, in this round. 

Rnd 6:
*2sc, sc in the next 3 sts* (5x), 2sc, (27 sts complete), sc in the next 105 sts, *2sc, sc in the next 3 sts* (5x), 2sc, sc in the next 105 sts...leaving you with 264sts in this round.

Rnd 7:
*2sc, sc in the next 4 sts* (5x), 2sc, (32 sts complete), sc in the next 106 sts, *2sc, sc in the next 4 sts* (5x), 2sc, sc in the next 106sts...leaving you with 276 sts in the round.

As your bottom progresses, when you turn it'll see all your joins...this is your 'Underbelly'... And before stuffing, you'll want to secure these stragglers by weaving them in to your completed work, with a yarn needle. 

In the meantime, we can continue on with our next Rnd 8:
*sc in the next 6sts, 2sc in the next st* (5x), (leaving you with 40 sts to begin this round), then sc across 103 sts. *2sc, sc in next 6sts* (5x), and sc across the remainder 103 sts, leaving you with 286 sts. at the end of this round.

Rnd 9:
In this round, you'll sc around, in every stitch of this round...286 sts.

Rnd 10 & 11:
We're makin' progress ya'll! In these 2 rounds, you'll be crocheting in the (BLO) or back loop only, 1 sc in each st around...286 sts, in each round you complete.

We are now changing the direction of how our yarn is going to lay...and we're now repositioning it, to begin coming up off of the table now. This is how you create depth to your project...and now, it no longer can be considered a 2-D piece. Since an amigurumi is a toy, it has to change shape...and so, it begins!
For any of you who have ever crocheted slippers...think of this part as a 

Rnd 11 & 12:
When you begin this round, you'll want to begin picking up both your stitches are NO longer just working in the back, continue to sc in each stitch around one more time, 
286 each of the next two rounds.
Here, you will begin to see the sides coming up off of the bottom of the table now.

Rnd 13: 
In this round, we want to start our sc sts in each FLO (front loop only)...and continuing around for 286 sts....this begins to fan our base out and away from our bottom, just a bit more! In so doing this...we're creating the BELLY of the ship!
Rnd 14:
 Now, sc in the next 159 sts, 3sc in the next st, (place another st marker in the middle stitch of this increase) and continue to sc around in the next 126 sts. (288 sts)

Rnd 15:
Next, sc in the following 160 sts, 3sc in the next st, (replace the st marker) and continue around in the next 127 sts. (290 sts) much as I'd like to keep going today...I'm 5 1/2 hours into this pattern today...and need to go on to something lunch! 
We'll see you here again soon...for some more lil' ss crochetin' rounds. We've covered some 3,372 sts today...I'd say that's some relatively good crochetin' there...but, like they say...Rome wasn't built in a day...and neither was the SS Badger!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Beginning of the SS BADGER in stitches!

Hey all...I was recently challenged by my constituants at "Sisters Unraveled" to create an over-sized amigurumi that looks like the SS Badger.
What's an amigurumi? Oh's a a pillow! Now...visualize a large vessel pillow! You never know what you'll find on the bow of the ship...little people perhaps?! hmmmm...
Got me thinkin'...but that'll come later. Today, we're talkin' about the bottom or the creation of the hull of the ship...
And, for any one you who don't know anything about the SS Badger, it's a huge carferry that crosses Lake Michigan every day, May through October! It transports people and things back and forth to work, live and play between the two lakeshores that it now serves. One city, being Ludwig, MI...and the other city being Manitowoc, WI...which is where you'll find me, in our growing artisan store, locally owned and operated by Wisconsin Artisans! We are know as "Favorite Things", selling and dispaying our unique crafts, as well as teaching DIY classes. We're located downtown, along 8th street, inside The Village Square 908 S. 8th St., next door to Ditto! We have everything from antiques to yarn, and everything else new, custom and handmade thrown into our unique, eclectic mix!
 The SS Badger has taken on many a transformation, since March 21, 1953...when it began it's service here, on our GREAT LAKE MICHIGAN! If you've ever had the pleasure to board it's great vessel's body, you would've witnessed it's amazing capacity to hold 'more than enough'...people, cars, trucks, rvs, campers and more...all on their way to something greater, along their own journey...once they hit land. 
For the people who live here, in these two lakeports, the SS Badger is more than a big's a way of living! The coffee shops, restaurants, and retail shops...all up and down the main street of these DOWNTOWN local business districts...are small, family owned businesses...all relying on the daily, individual arrivals from the "other side"! To an artisan, like's a valuable commodity!  We wait upon the arrival of it's travelers, who will most likely be shopping, eating and foraging through the many shops...It's come to be known as the  reliable SS Badger "TRAFFIC", that comes into our ports, 'off the boat', to EXPLORE our city's finery and activities along the LAKESHORE! 
Now, I'm sure some of you are thinkin'...what's so unusual about this ship?! Why would we want to dedicate any time to its existance at all? It's only a ship, right?! Well, did ya know that it's the VERY LAST coal burning steamship in the United well as, the VERY LAST vessel service here on the Great Lakes altogether! It's a "One of a Kind"!!!! 
          So, with that being's sort of a SPECIAL THING...One that needs our attention, our love, our local, regional, state and national support! It's a UNIQUE set of circumstances, that have brought our two cities together as 'Seaside Sisters'...each one helping the other to grow and survive in these tough economic times. These small businesses then, are coming together to fuel a NEW HAVEN for it's lakeside travelers...all looking for something GREATER, then where they came!
With this new journey, I am thrilled to take you on...along side of me...we're going to enter a whole new level of the SS with yarn and hook. It's a crochet story of timeless abandon, that will hopefully inspire each of you to reach beyond what you allow yourself to be challenged to do something without a pattern or a diagram...only your passion to succeed!

Starting off, let me say...that any attempt to try, is already less than a failure! we go! Let's board our SS Badger foundation stitch at a time!
Considering that this ship is extremely large...I wanted to make it BIGGER than normal...not lifesize, but...Table Size! As I looked at my kitchen table this morning, I envisioned the bottom of the ship resting in it's middle...and I began to take measurements! 
With a finished measurement in my 'minds eye', thirty inches looked like a good place to start...but then, I needed to decide on a good hook size and what yarn I was going to use. So, I chose an H hook, and found some Lion Brand Heartland yarn in my stash, that I've used many times over in smaller projects. It seemed fitting to use a good American made yarn in my newest project...epsecially right here in the Midwest!
Needless to say, "our project project is born"...and we will call it the lil' ss!
How many stitches can I make in 30"...105! That's 104 chains, with 1 turning ch to start off with....and begin with 2sc in the 2nd ch from the hook, with 1 sc in each ch now across to the last ch, where you want to 2sc and cross over to the other side to sc all the way back to the beginning...and your first round is complete. 

you will have 208 scs at the end of this 1st round.

 Working into your second round here, take care to keep marking your rounds as you go along, with a paper clip or're able to keep a better handle on these larger numbers then, if you use different colored markers for your (100) hundred makes it easier to count back from there, if you miss a stitch!
Now, if you're planning to build this along side of a might want to keep notes as we go here...I have a tendency to wander a!

In this next round (2) 2sc in your join st (at your  marker), and in the next 2 sts (6sc in the next 3 sts overall), then sc in each st around (101 sts), then 2sc in the next 3 sts, and continue to sc in each st around til you come to the stitch marker again (ending round 2 and signifying the next round to begin)...leaving you with 216 sts at the completion of this round now.

Rnd 3: 2sc in the next 5 stitches, and sc in each st around for 102 sts, then 2sc in the next 6 sts and continue to sc around in the following 102 sts, and finish off this round with 2sc in the last st, before the stitch marker from the previous round. This will bring you up to 228 sts now in this round...
Rnd 4: 2sc in the next 8 sts, sc in the next 106 sts, 2sc in the next 8 sts, sc in the next 106 sts...bringing you back to your st marker at 244 sts to complete that round.

Remember to keep checking your size...we don't want to steer off course pun intended...right?! Your initial chain should be 30", with your 4th row coming in at 32" in length. 

Round 4...whew! Many more months to come!

Whoop!!!! We're on our way to the other far is it to the other side you say? Well, it takes the SS Badger approximately 4 hours to cross the Lake, that's about 60 miles wide...and if that's any indication to how long it will take me to make our lil' ss...keep guessin'! 
I'm clueless...since this is my first time to cross the great divide myself here! But let's timeline it....I'm thinkin' July 2015! Wowza...hope I don't disappoint anyone here! That's 4 months....and who knows how much yarn later...well, it'll be a trip, either way! 
Tune in tomorrow for the next leg of our journey....I now have to get more! I only had a small ball to begin our, for now....I'm dead in the water here folks! 
Silly me....never a dull moment along the lakeshore! And off to the store I go....